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New SOTA Spot Monitor Software (Free)

All,

I developed a new SOTA-related MS Windows software program and am making it available free of charge to anyone who wants it. You can learn more about the software and download it from here:

http://www.ku6j.com/

In brief, SOTA Spot Monitor is similar to a DX Cluster client program but is dedicated to SOTA spots. It can check for new spots at a high rate (every few seconds) but completely avoids placing any additional loading on the SOTA servers by retrieving spots from the SOTAwatch feed on Twitter.com. SOTA Spot Monitor has been tested on Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. It likely works on other 32-bit and 64-bit versions of MS Windows as well.

Features include configurable filters and audio alerts. Filters can operate based on summit/region/association/country, activator call, band, mode, points or spotter call. The filters can be applied to the audio alerts, the spot list display, or both. The spot list features drill-down capability to the summit information page at Sotawatch.org, or to the QRZ.com page for callsign lookups. Spot logging can be enabled and custom audio alerts (per-activator, region, association or country) are supported.

Enjoy!

73,

Eric KU6J

===========================================
Free SOTA Spot Monitor Software:
http://www.ku6j.com

In reply to KU6J:
Is the price negotiable?

Elliott, K6ILM
Chaser Clown

In reply to K6ILM:

In reply to KU6J:
Is the price negotiable?

Elliott, K6ILM
Chaser Clown

LOL, yes Elliott as long as the range is between 0 and 000.0000 I think we have some room to negotiate. Of course the regional currencies and exchange rates could get dicey: Dollars, Euros, Pounds, Swiss Francs, etc… :wink:

73,

Eric KU6J

===========================================
Free SOTA Spot Monitor Software:
http://www.ku6j.com

In reply to KU6J:

Will you take Drachma?

In reply to KU6J:

Hi Eric;

I have just downloaded your new software and have it running under XP, just a couple of comments for possible future upgrades.

I do not have a wide screen monitor, the spot text is wider than the windows box.

It would be nice to have a latching alert sound with a reset button so that when away from the shack an alert will continue sounding until i notice it and return to the shack. This allows one to do other things while waiting for an activation to come up and saves wasting time having to hang around the shack
in case you might miss it.

Thanks very much for sharing this with us.

73 de Ken G3XQE

In reply to KU6J:

Excellent! Thanks for sharing.

In reply to G3CWI:

Drachma would usually be too dodgy for my tastes, but given the price I’m charging for this software, I’ll take the risk. Early 1920’s marks from the Weimar Republic will also be accepted, along with Zimbabwean dollars and even shiny pebbles.

In reply to G3XQE:

Ken, thanks for the feedback. The spot window is a bit wide. Maybe in a future version I can allow you to choose just a subset of columns for display and possibly allow the font to be smaller as well. For now you could resize the window to fit your display. Unfortunately each spot will then break onto additional lines as needed, thereby making things a bit harder to interpret. I just tried it, and if you resize to the point where the comment starts on the next line it isn’t so bad.

Your latching alert sound idea should be easy to implement, along with a small reset button at the bottom of the display. The audio wouldn’t stop immediately upon clicking the reset button since I’m playing it asynchronously via a Windows API call, but clicking the button would stop it from playing again the next time around the loop.

In reply to W7DDM:

You’re welcome!

73,

Eric KU6J

===========================================
Free SOTA Spot Monitor Software:
http://www.ku6j.com

In reply to KU6J:

Hi Eric,

I have installed SOTASpotMonitor and it was up and running in no time. Not any glitches to report on a WinXP system with 1680x1050 resolution.

One request for filtering: I would like to apply two different filters. First any spot worldwide in mode=cw should be displayed and second I would like to see any 2m or 70cm spot for a summit in OE2, OE3, OE5, OE6, DL, DM or OK. Can this be implemented?

Thanks for this excellent work and for sharing it with us!

Heinz, OE5EEP

In reply to KU6J:

Great stuff. Love the “drill-down capability”.

Many thanks Eric.

Karen
2E0XYL

In reply to OE5EEP:

One request for filtering: I would like to apply two different
filters. First any spot worldwide in mode=cw should be displayed and
second I would like to see any 2m or 70cm spot for a summit in OE2,
OE3, OE5, OE6, DL, DM or OK. Can this be implemented?

Yes Heinz, that would be possible to do. My original concept was to allow for multiple filters with a different audio alert for each one just as you described. I was going to use an MS Access database as a back end to make that even easier, but then I remembered that the ADO database drivers are a challenge to get installed properly if you are targeting a wide variety of Windows operating systems and versions.

I may go back and take another look at doing that for v2.0 as having a local database would allow for a lot more functionality. I can also do the multiple filters without needing a database, it would just be a bit harder to implement. One way or another I’ll try to get that capability into a future release.

In reply to 2E0XYL:

Great stuff. Love the “drill-down capability”.

Many thanks Eric.

You’re welcome Karen!

73,

Eric KU6J

===========================================
Free SOTA Spot Monitor Software:
http://www.ku6j.com

Other interesting software for chaser
see http://www.qwj.de/qwtelnet/ for more infos

QWTelnet is a DX-Cluster telnet-programm and SOTAwatch parser with audio alerts, so that you not always have to pay attention to the screen. You can activate the alarm in a configuration file, also the search patterns for the “remark”-part of the DX-Cluster string.

  • DX-Cluster with Single Bands
  • Reverse Beacon Network
  • World Flora & Fauna
  • Islands on the Air
  • Summit on the Air
  • German Mountain Award

In reply to DK2RMP:

Very nice!, If someone prefers the summit reference drill-down capability in my software to go to the Adventure Radio summit info page instead of the Sotawatch summit info page, they can add these lines to the bottom of the SOTASpotMonitor.INI file:

[URLTemplates]
Summit=http://www.adventureradio.de/data/sotainfo.php?id=ZZZZ

The SOTASpotMonitor.INI file is in the same folder as the program, typically C:\SOTASpotMonitor.

In reply to KU6J:

http://www.sotawatch.org/reflector.php?topic=6563#53890

Best 73, de Zvone - S57PZ

In reply to KU6J:

  • easy to use: Extract CAB content to an empty directory
    and run (I don’t like installers).

  • great hyperlinks (call, summit) on spots screen

  • yes I do have a big screen but maybe I don’t want to
    fill it with SOTASpotMonitor. Therefore my request:
    Please get rid of line wrap and add a horizontal scroll
    bar instead.

73, Markus HB9BRJ

tnx fr Info !

In reply to KU6J:

Excellent software.

How about HIGLIGHTing the row of the spot when it meets a filter. This would give a half way house between show everything and only show filtered.

This would also help with the other issue raised of not hearing the alarm when it sounds because you stepped out of the room. The highlight would still be there when you returned.

Even better if you could have different highlights with different colours.

Thanks

Tim.C

In reply to HB9BRJ:

  • yes I do have a big screen but maybe I don’t want to
    fill it with SOTASpotMonitor. Therefore my request:
    Please get rid of line wrap and add a horizontal scroll
    bar instead.

Done! Thanks Markus, v1.03 and later will have the horizontal scroll bar enabled for the spot list display.

In reply to G7TAC:

How about HIGLIGHTing the row of the spot when it meets a filter.
This would give a half way house between show everything and only show
filtered.

This would also help with the other issue raised of not hearing the
alarm when it sounds because you stepped out of the room. The
highlight would still be there when you returned.

Even better if you could have different highlights with different
colours.

Yes Tim, I’d like to do that but I went with a standard text box for the spot list so as to keep the software lightweight and the setup process trouble free. It doesn’t support per-line text formatting or highlighting.

I can do what you describe by replacing the standard text box with a 3rd party grid-type of OCX control, or perhaps a 3rd-party RTF control. Let me think about that for a bit as I don’t want the setup process to start generating errors for some users and thereby increase the technical support burden. When you’re working for free, that last part is important. :slight_smile:

In reply to KU6J:

In reply to HB9BRJ:

  • yes I do have a big screen but maybe I don’t want to
    fill it with SOTASpotMonitor. Therefore my request:
    Please get rid of line wrap and add a horizontal scroll
    bar instead.

Done! Thanks Markus, v1.03 and later will have the horizontal scroll
bar enabled for the spot list display.

Version 1.03 has arrived, but I don’t see a scroll bar in either display.
What are the enhancements from v1.02 to v1.03?

John, OZ4RT

In reply to HB9BRJ:

  • yes I do have a big screen but maybe I don’t want to
    fill it with SOTASpotMonitor.

Heh, with you, there! The reason I have a big monitor is so that I can see several different windows at once. No application should ever assume it can have maximum width or maximum height!

73, Rick

Version 1.03 has arrived, but I don’t see a scroll bar in either
display.
What are the enhancements from v1.02 to v1.03?

John, OZ4RT

John,

The horizontal scroll bar automatically appears when you resize the window to be smaller in the horizontal direction. The vertical scroll bar appears when the spots in the list begin to scroll (the vertical scroll bar feature has always been present).

The enhancements from v1.02 to v1.03 were to add the horizontal scroll bar and improve the parser to better handle odd spots that had no mode specified, and better handle spots of summits that include parenthetical phrases in their descriptions. These types of spots were always displayed in v1.02 and earlier but some of the info would get shifted into the wrong columns.

73,

Eric KU6J

===========================================
Free SOTA Spot Monitor Software:
http://www.ku6j.com